Wings are clipped this week. Because we all know that no good deed goes unpunished. Not that I am the one carrying out this particular act of kindness…
We are making a film about the Scottish Legion. A venerable group formed 100 years ago. A charity that has helped so many veterans over the years – and continues to do so.
Our programme will look at its history and consider its future. And now I am driving past a view that inspired the novelist, Walter Scott, en-route to meet one of its long-standing members.
A warning light on an early summer’s day
The sun shines. The gorse is out. The trees are a delicious shade of baby green – and the lambs are in the fields.
In short, it is a perfect early summer’s day. Then the oil warning light comes on. Again.
The thing has been flashing from time to time for some days. Yet it always stops, so it can’t be serious.
Or can it? On this occasion the yellow icon stays stubbornly on. Glaring out from the dashboard.
The destination is reached, and we film the interview. But we are some miles from a garage, and I am reluctant to take my oil-less car further for risk of damaging the engine.
The good deed
Mercifully, a can of lubricant is found. And, luckily, we have someone who can sort this problem out.
My cameraman steps gallantly in. He pours a cupful into where it’s meant to go. Then he puts his head in his hands.
He has trickled the stuff into the wrong compartment. It has gone into what we believe is the expansion tank for the coolant.
Now, neither he, nor I, have any idea what damage may or may not have been done. But the MacNaughties have been home-alone long enough.
Off I set, very slowly. Nursing the vehicle down the country lanes. This time with absolutely no interest in the panorama that inspired Scotland’s most prolific novelist.
Because I am concentrating on making it back in one piece.
The journey home
Is it my imagination? Fifty miles on, and there a strange noise emanates from the bonnet.
I am certain I will see smoke rising from the engine. By now, though, I am past caring. I put my foot down.
At the house there are three messages from a worried cameraman. Am I OK?! Did the car blow up? Did I make it back?
Poor man. He only wanted to help. Then, as my late father was wont to say: no good deed does go unpunished.
I do not know what damage has been done. But I cannot risk driving the thing until the local garage has given it the once over.
So, no more chasing around this week. And with lots of time to watch u-tube videos, I am now an expert in how to top up the oil tank.
Wings might be clipped. But, whisper it, it is actually rather nice to be grounded for a few days. For me – and the doggies.
Now it’s just fingers crossed for the car…